Monday, June 2, 2008

The Green Season is the Best Time to see Birds!!

I just bought a new 40" flat screen TV & hooked it up to a DVD player so now I can supplement my bird & wildlife viewing with the BBC Planet Earth Series (truly the best DVD series ever produced). Last night I was watching the "Water" part of the series & felt like I was in my own backyard when a Spectacled Caiman ate a juvenile Wood Stork (it feel out of a tree). The cameraman even got in the water with the caimans (because caimans less than 2 meters long & they consider humans too large to mess I won't panic if I fall into the water when I kayak the mangrove system). Yesterday I walked over to the flooded field area and saw a Roseate Spoonbill hanging out with the Wood Storks! Yesterday and today I walked into the Mangrove area (the dock and some of the mangrove trees are pictured above). As it turns out, the mangroves that are near my condo are part of a system that is the second largest in the world!! My, my!! Did I retire to the right place for a wildlife biologist/birder or what? Yesterday was pretty exciting, but today was even better because I saw a troop of White-throated Capuchin monkeys (5 swinging around the trees), saw & heard a troop of Mantled Howler Monkeys, could barely make out a Crab-eating raccoon up in a tree, saw & heard a gazillion birds. Some of the birds I saw include: Great White Egrets (hundreds in trees), Green-backed Herons, one Bare-throated Tiger-heron (very lucky to see him because he's "rare to uncommon in Pacific coastal lowlands"), loads of Wood Storks (their cute babies have pink beaks), a few American White Ibis, Black-bellied Whistling-ducks (their local name is "wichity" because of their whistle-call), Mangrove Black Hawks, Yellow-headed Caracara (2 in the same lens of my binoculars), American Purple Gallinules, Common Moorhen, Northern Jacana, American Golden Plover, Rudy Ground-doves, loads of Orange-chinned Parakeets (they made as much racket as the Howler Monkeys!), Smooth-billed and Groove-billed Ani, Pauraque (friends call them dare birds because they don't move until the last minute), Green & Amazon Kingfishers, Red-crowned Woodpeckers, Social Flycatchers, etc. etc. On Thursday, I'm heading out with a Boquete Birdwatcher Group & we hope to find the Three-wattled Bellbird!! Wish me luck!

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